Absentee voting in Tennessee, also called “mail-in voting” or “by-mail voting”, is casting your vote by mail-in ballot before the day of the Election. All states will mail a ballot to you if specific criteria are met, but some states have much stricter rules to meet these conditions. The voter may return the ballot in person or by mail. With uncertainties and unknowns around USPS delivery of your "mail-in" ballot during Covid-19, you may want to check for ballot drop-off boxes in your area as an alternative way to deliver your absentee ballot.
You must submit a written request containing the information below to your local county election commission office by the seventh day before Election Day.
You can vote absentee by-mail if you fall under one of the following categories:
- You are sixty (60) years of age or older.
- You will be outside the county where you are registered during the early voting period and all day on Election Day.
- You are hospitalized, ill or physically disabled and unable to appear at your polling place to vote (this includes persons who have underlying medical or health conditions which in their determination render them more susceptible to contracting COVID-19 or at greater risk should they contract it). For a list of underlying health conditions that makes a person more susceptible, see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html. A physician’s statement is not required to check this box.
- You are the caretaker of a person who is hospitalized, ill, or disabled (this includes caretakers for persons who have underlying medical or health conditions which in their determination render them more susceptible to contracting COVID-19 or at greater risk should they contract it). For a list of underlying health conditions that makes a person more susceptible, see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html. A physician’s statement is not required to check this box.
- You or your spouse are a full-time student in an accredited college or university outside the county where you are registered.
- You reside in a nursing home, assisted living facility or home for the aged outside your county of residence.
- You are a candidate for office in the election.
- You are observing a religious holiday that prevents you from voting in person during the early voting period and on Election Day.
- You serve as an Election Day official or as a member or employee of the election commission.
- You will be unable to vote in-person due to jury duty.
- You have a physical disability and an inaccessible polling place.
- You or your spouse possess a valid commercial drivers license (CDL) or Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) card and you will be working outside the state or county of registration during the open hours of early voting and Election Day and have no specific out-of-county or out-of-state address to which mail may be sent or received during such time.
- You are a member of the military or are an overseas citizen.
- You are on the permanent absentee list (see question 4 below).
You must return your ballot by mail (USPS, FedEx, UPS, etc.).
Early In-person Voting
Early voting in Tennessee allows you to cast your vote in person before the day of the Election at specific polling locations that may differ from the Election Day locations. Voting early in person allows you to cast your vote while the number of people waiting to vote is much smaller than Election Day. Please follow the recommended CDC Covid-19 safety guidelines.
To vote early, a person must appear in person at either the county election commission office or at a satellite voting location opened by the county election commission.
For details regarding times and early voting locations, a person must contact the local county election commission office.
Election Day In-person Voting
If you’re voting in person in Tennessee on November 3rd, 2020 follow the recommended CDC Covid-19 safety guidelines.